Internship targets marine conservation


PhD candidate Pia Harkness

PhD candidate Pia Harkness

A Charles Darwin University PhD candidate is taking part in a two-month internship to improve community-based approaches to marine conservation in eastern Indonesia.

Pia Harkness is assisting a non-government organisation, Locally-Managed Marine Area Network (LMMA), to map marine areas in Indonesia during the internship provided by the Australian Government’s Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship program.

Pia said she also would help to build LMMA’s geographic information systems capacity, and learn about community-based approaches to marine natural resource management, while based at the Papuan island of Biak.

“It is a wonderful opportunity and the scholarship is providing me with a great amount of support while in the field,” she said.

“Indonesia’s marine and coastal resources are extremely important to the nation’s food security and economy.”

As part of her PhD research, Pia is investigating marine resource use and management in the Savu Sea Marine National Park, located in the Lesser Sundas of East Nusa Tenggara in eastern Indonesia.

The park is a blue whale “hotspot” and is the largest marine protected area in Indonesia, and located in the area of tropical marine waters known as the Coral Triangle.

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